Check Out The New 2023 Tax Credits & Rebates! Read More

Skip navigation

Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

Common Plumbing Problems

As a homeowner, it’s crucial you keep your property’s plumbing system in top shape. While most of us tend to overlook it, plumbing is an integral part of our homes, and it’s only a matter of time before things go wrong. Common plumbing problems may range from minor leaks to major water damage, which is why it’s essential to have prompt plumbing repair and maintenance services. Douglas Cooling & Heating explains what is a plumbing emergency and what you can do to stop the damage. Remember, you can always count on Douglas Cooling & Heating for plumbing help around your Birmingham, AL home. Schedule service with us today.

Clogged Drains

Everyone gets a clog now and again. Homeowners often tackle the issue themselves first, but these efforts do not always restore proper drainage. If all your at-home methods—plungers or drain snakes—don’t fix the clog, call a professional. Additionally, if you experience clogs on a regular basis, the problem most likely stems from a complete clog far down in your drain. At-home methods can’t fix these clogs.

A plumber uses professional methods to safely remove blockages and restore proper drainage in your home. A drain auger or drain snake may be used to bust up tough clogs and remove them. Hydro jetting is a process that uses high-pressure water sent through your drainpipes to not only break up blockages but to clear the interior of your pipes from debris buildup.

Sewer Line Clogs

The sewer line that allows waste to flow out of your home to the municipal sewer or your septic tank can experience problems. Clogs in sewer lines are more severe in terms of common plumbing problems. Unlike a clog in a drain line, they cause problems all over the home, not just in one room or fixture. The signs of a sewer line clog include slow or clogged drains, gurgling noises from drains, water backup in showers or bathtubs when toilets are flushed, and bubbling from toilet water or faucets.

Sewer line clogs can be caused by a number of reasons:

  • Flushing improper items
  • Tree root penetrations
  • Debris entering the line through a busted pipe

To determine if you have a sewer line clog, call a plumber to inspect your sewer line. During their inspection, the plumber will also determine if your pipes have broken due to age and allowed outside materials to settle in the line and stop drainage – in this case, your sewer line needs to be replaced.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the common plumbing problems that require emergency plumbing services due to the potential damage and hazards they present. When the water inside the pipes freezes, it expands, exerting immense pressure on the pipe walls. This pressure can cause the pipes to crack or burst, leading to severe water damage, flooding, and costly repairs.

Emergency plumbing services are crucial in addressing frozen pipes promptly, preventing further damage, and restoring normal water flow. Professional plumbers have the expertise and equipment to safely thaw the pipes, identify any cracks or leaks, and perform necessary repairs, ensuring the integrity of your plumbing system is maintained.

Leaky Pipes

Your leaky pipe seems like an easy fix, but it often points to larger issues. The cause may be old pipes and connections that have started to wear out, or an issue such as improper water pressure is potentially damaging your pipes.

Use leak tape before your plumber visits to keep leakage contained. Then, call a professional. They fix the underlying problem instead of the surface-level issue. Be sure to call a plumber at the first sign of plumbing leaks. Water damage can be incredibly expensive to fix, so the sooner you address the issue, the better.

Water Heater Leaks

Water heater leaks require emergency plumbing services due to the potential risks and damage they pose. Some reasons why prompt professional intervention is necessary include:

  • Property Damage: A leaking water heater can cause extensive water damage to floors, walls, and nearby belongings. If not addressed quickly, the leak may worsen over time, leading to more significant issues such as structural damage, mold growth, and costly repairs.
  • Electrical Hazards: If the leak reaches any electrical components or outlets, it can create a dangerous situation with the risk of electrocution or even an electrical fire.
  • Reduced Efficiency: A leaking water heater may not operate at its peak efficiency, resulting in higher energy consumption and increased utility bills.
  • Gas Leaks: In the case of gas water heaters, a leak might indicate a more severe problem, such as a faulty pressure relief valve or a corroded tank. Gas leaks can be hazardous and lead to fires or explosions if not addressed immediately.
  • Loss of Hot Water: A water heater leak can disrupt your hot water supply, causing inconvenience for daily activities like bathing, washing, and cleaning.

Professional plumbers can accurately diagnose the issue, determine the appropriate course of action, and perform necessary repairs or replacements to restore the functionality and safety of your water heater, preventing further damage and potential hazards.

Low Water Pressure

Though it’s one of the most general plumbing problems, many believe this issue doesn’t need attention. Too often, homeowners pass it off as a comfort issue and skip further investigation. Your comfort matters and these issues need to be looked into by a professional not only to improve your satisfaction with your plumbing system but to address the cause to avoid future issues.

Most of the time, low pressure stems from the buildup of minerals on faucets and shower heads. In homes supplied by wells, pressure tank malfunctions often result in low water pressure. If you notice low water pressure, try first cleaning showerheads and faucets. If that doesn’t remedy your water pressure, get in touch with a plumber. A deeper issue, like a water line leak or breach, could be the culprit. In that case, call a plumber to assess the problem.

Broken Shutoff Valve

Broken shutoff valves necessitate emergency plumbing services due to the potential risks and damage they can cause. Shutoff valves are essential components of a plumbing system, responsible for controlling the water flow to various appliances and fixtures. When a shutoff valve fails, it can lead to several problems:

  • Uncontrolled Water Flow: A broken shutoff valve may not be able to stop the water flow, causing flooding or continuous leakage. Uncontrolled water flow can lead to water damage, mold growth, and higher water bills.
  • Difficulty in Isolating Issues: In case of a plumbing emergency, such as a burst pipe or leaking appliance, a non-functioning shutoff valve makes it difficult to isolate the problem area, exacerbating the issue and increasing the risk of damage.
  • Inconvenience: A broken shutoff valve can disrupt daily activities like bathing, washing, and cleaning, as it may affect the water supply to specific fixtures or appliances.
  • Potential Damage to Other Components: A malfunctioning shutoff valve can cause pressure imbalances within the plumbing system, potentially damaging other components like pipes, fittings, and fixtures.

Professional plumbers can assess the issue, repair or replace the faulty valve, and restore the functionality of your plumbing system, preventing further damage and potential hazards. By acting quickly, you can minimize the impact of a broken shutoff valve on your property and daily life.

Keep Up On Regular Maintenance

There are many things you can do to prevent common plumbing problems. When you notice a small issue, address it immediately. There are many home remedies you can try to clear your drains to prevent clogs. However, if you try multiple remedies and find no relief, that’s your sign it’s time to make an appointment with Douglas Cooling & Heating to address your plumbing issues.

  • Hot Water: Simply flushing your drains with hot water can be an effective way to keep them clean. Hot water can help break down and remove the buildup of oils and other materials that can cause clogs.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: This combination can be quite effective in cleaning drains. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Wait 15-20 minutes and then rinse with hot water. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar can help break down grease, food particles, and other debris in your drains.
  • Boiling Water: Pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain can also help to dislodge and dissolve some types of clogs. This is particularly effective with grease or soap build-up.
  • Salt, Borax, and Vinegar: Mix 1/4 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of borax, and 1/2 cup of vinegar, pour the mixture down the drain, followed by a pot of boiling water. This combination can be quite potent and effective at cleaning your drains.
  • Dish Detergent and Hot Water: For tougher clogs, especially in the kitchen sink, you can try using dish detergent as a de-greaser. Pour a half cup of dish detergent down the drain, followed by boiling water.

For stubborn or unexpected issues, turn to the plumbing professionals at Douglas Cooling & Heating for quality plumbing repairs and services.

Call Douglas Cooling & Heating to Solve Your General Plumbing Problems

At the end of the day, professional help from plumbers guarantees your water flows as it should. While at-home fixes temporarily fix your difficult plumbing problems, they do not treat underlying issues.

At Douglas Cooling & Heating, we provide high-quality plumbing repair and maintenance services to keep your home plumbing system running efficiently. Our experienced plumbers use modern tools and techniques to diagnose and repair any plumbing issues in your home. Don’t wait until the problem becomes catastrophic; contact us today for prompt and reliable plumbing repair services.

Comments are closed.